We live on a planet which has the potential to adequately feed, house and provide clean water and decent medical care for every single man, woman and child. The resources exist to banish poverty and squalor forever. World socialism could end hunger immediately, and provide the conditions for material security for all within a very short time. Our capabilities are awe-inspiring. Sadly, however, and in spite of all the technology at our disposal, the never-ending drive for profits means that we will always be plagued by every possible social ill.
Capitalism both unites and divides workers. The system compels our fellow workers to unite in order to defend their interests, but it also imposes upon us the necessity to compete individually for jobs. This rivalry creates animosity between workers of different nationalities, regions and religions, by endeavouring to bind the workers of one nation to the idea that they have a common interest with ‘their’ nation’s employers. The only way to overcome these divisions is to strive for the solidarity of all workers, regardless of their nationality or language. Native-born workers may think that excluding migrant workers will help them. But if the employers can hurt one section of the working class, it is easier to hurt the other. Only under capitalism is it necessary to construct borders around a designated area arbitrarily created by history, to keep certain people in and keep other people out. Our fellow workers across the world have nothing to gain from the return of nationalisms which ravaged this part of the world several times. Our class is clearly international. We are all interdependent.
The World Socialist Movement maintains that workers must free themselves of patriotism and any concept of national superiority, for without discarding these ideas of the ruling class they will never themselves be free.
So what is the World Socialist Movement (WSM)? It is the umbrella organisation of a number of socialist organisations around the world dedicated to creating a socialist society. We, in the WSM, propose a world for all and not just for the few. People are social and our capacity for cooperation and adaptation allows us to envisage and build a world beyond the current economic and political system which many regard as unchangeable. We advocate a world without boundaries, social classes or leaders, states or governments or armies. A world devoid of money or wages, exchange, buying or selling. A world in which people give freely of their abilities and take according to their own self-defined needs from the stockpile of wealth. A global system in which each person has a free and democratic say in how their world is run.
Of course, the well-coached nay-sayers tell us that “human nature” will always be a barrier to such a society, because humans are “by nature” greedy, selfish and aggressive. It quickly becomes apparent that what they are describing is not human nature as such, but various traits of human behaviour exhibited under particular circumstances. Socialists maintain that human behaviour is shaped by the kind of system people are brought up to live in – that it is not our consciousness that determines our social existence but our social existence which determines our consciousness. Nobody is born as a racist or a patriot, as a bigot or with a belief in gods. Nobody is born a murderer, a robber or a rapist, and our alleged greed for money is no more a function of the natural human thought process than were slavery or witch burning. World socialists hold that because we can adapt our behaviour, the desire to cooperate should not be viewed as irrational. We hold that humans are, “by nature”, cooperative and that we work best when faced with the worst and that our humanity shines through when the odds are stacked against us. It is not in our DNA to protect the capitalist economic order. No gene makes us seek to defend the profit system.
Socialism will require no artificial distinctions between the world’s people and will have no borders. The goal of the World Socialist Movement is to help build a frontier-free world. Inside socialism there will be no countries and no national borders. Everyone on Earth will be free to roam the whole world without passports or visas, free to settle wherever they desire or for as long as they wish. Instead of nation-states, we could have instead a global socialist cooperative commonwealth as an alternative way of living. Imagine what it would mean
- A world without buying and selling.
- A world without money
- A world without governments
- A world without politicians
It would mean we could live in a world where genuine democracy and mutual cooperation can flourish and grow. It means making the natural and industrial resources of the Earth the common heritage of humankind. It means establishing a world without nations. Socialism is where we will all be at home anywhere. It is now no utopian fantasy to suggest we can live in a world without waste or want or war, in which each person has free access to the benefits of civilisation. That much is assured. We certainly have the science, the technology and the know-how. All that is missing is the will.
“Written right across every page of human history is the declaration that no people can be free so long as the private ownership of the means of production and distribution endures. Self-determination under capitalism is therefore an impossibility, and demands for its realisation a preceding social revolution. Such a fundamental change of the internal structure of society liberates the social aspirations of the peoples of the world, shatters the exploiting factions, and rising from the age-long struggles free citizens of the world combine. Thus the League of capitalist groups sinks out of sight, joins the barbaric ages, to which it rightfully belongs, and on the basis of the social ownership and control of the means of life there rises the new order — the self-determining combined in the great Federative Republic of the Workers of the World.” – Arthur MacManus, Red Clydesider, (1889 – 1927)
“The nationality of the toilers is neither French nor English nor German; it is toil, free slavery, sale of the self. His government is neither French nor English nor German; it is Capital. His native air is neither French nor German nor English; it is the air of the factory. The land which belongs to him is neither French nor English nor German; it is a few feet under the ground.”– Karl Marx
“I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; and I am a citizen of the world.” – Eugene Debs
‘In a class society, “the nation” as a homogeneous socio-political entity does not exist. Rather, there exist within each nation, classes with antagonistic interests and “rights” ’ – Rosa Luxemburg
‘Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead. When independent-thinking people (and here I do not include the corporate media) begin to rally under flags, when writers, painters, musicians, film makers suspend their judgement and blindly yoke their art to the service of the “Nation,” it’s time for all of us to sit up and worry’ – Arundhati Roy
“Imagine there’s no countries; It isn’t hard to do; Nothing to kill or die for; And no religion, too.” – John Lennon,